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Scene 6: Rape

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A story about a girl who stopped talking: then she was a teenager, now she’s 47.

Vutha

This is a story about a girl who stopped talking.

Her name is Chea. She is so beautiful, beautiful like an angel.

Song

The angel performs a heavenly dance

by Ou Sam Oeur

An immaculate carpet of grass;

Greenness stretches beyond the horizon.

An angel with hair the color of gold.

And the complexion of polished ivory.

Sways her body with the grasses,

As she dances a classical ballet,

Her long hair floats in the air,

In a pattern which dazzles my eyes.

Then she dances in the manner of a butterfly.

The breeze keeps raising her hair in an aureole,

The longer I contemplate her dance,

The more indescribable its beauty becomes.

Only God is my witness to this.

Oh, Nagaraja’s pearl,

It’s unbelievable! I shall.

Treasure this scene in my mind forever!

Vutha

Now listen to the story of Chea.

Sovanna

It is the year 1976.

Chea is a teenage girl.

She is thirteen years of age.

Chea is so beautiful.

Her supple body shows the beginning of womanhood.

She has curly hair.

Smooth skin, full lips, large round brown eyes with long lashes.

Vutha

The soldiers gaze at her wherever she goes.

Sovanna

Chea´s parents guard her intensely.

They smear mud on her face to hide her beauty.

Her head is always covered with a scarf.

Vutha

The Khmer Rouge soldiers gaze at her wherever she goes.

Sovanna

One evening in March 1976 three soldiers come to the hut of Chea´s family.

Soldier

Hey you there, Angka needs your daughter to pick corn.

Sovanna

Chea´s mother wraps her arms around her daughter.

She cries: “Take me, I can work faster and pick more corn for you than my daughter.”

Chea´s father pleas on his knees: “Take me, I am much stronger and will work for you the whole night”.

Soldier

Sorry, but Angka needs Chea.

No bargaining.

Useless to discuss with Angka.

When Angka tells you what to do, you do it.

Sovanna

The soldiers take Chea into the woods.

She looks back until she can see her parents no more.

In the black night Chea´s mother wails like a she-wolf that has lost her cub.

Yes, true to their word, the soldiers returned Chea to her parents the next morning.

She is not Chea anymore, beautiful smiling Chea.

Her face is swollen, shoulders slumped, arms hanging like dead weights.

Since then Chea does not speak anymore. Never.

Her body walks as if there is no more life in it.

Her head is always down.

Nobody comes near her.

Nobody talks to her.

People turn away when she passes by.

Theary

I was there too, in the same camp. In the year 1976. I also turned away when Chea passed. Like the others. We made Chea invisible.

Now, thirty years later, Chea lives in my village.

A silent woman.

Nobody comes near her.

Nobody talks to her.

People turn away when she passes by.

Always when I see her my heart starts racing.

I feel guilty, guilty.

I say to myself: “I was just a little girl. I could not help it, I did what the elders did, just a little girl”.

I say to myself: “I betrayed Chea. Left her all by herself in her loneliness, her horror. I was a coward” .

Today I see Chea. My heart races. I sweat.

I have to soothe my heart. I cannot bear the guilt anymore.

Slowly I take one step toward her. Two steps.

(To Chea)

Chea, will you forgive me, please.

Will you hold my heart and forgive me.

Please come with me so we can drink a cup of tea together.

Chea does not look, does not speak.

Maybe I am too late.

Tomorrow I will try again.

Song

The angel performs a heavenly dance (last verse)

by Sam Ou Oeur

Only God is my witness to this.

Oh, Nagaraja’s pearl.

It’s unbelievable! I shall.

Treasure this scene in my mind forever!

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